The Foundations of Faith
May 1 - May 22, 2022
The FOOTSTEPS of Faith: How to grow spiritually
May 22, 2022
There's an old joke that asks, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice." The simple truth is that in order to be good at anything, you need to work at it. But there's a huge difference between the kind of practice it takes to play Mozart, and the kind of practice it takes to be a Mozart. Even in our faith, there's a difference between learning how to emulate the behaviours of a Jesus follower, and actually training ourselves to actually follow Jesus. So how do we make sure we're not just settling for a second-hand, cheap knock-off, cover-band impersonation of faith? If we want to move beyond simply playing at Christianity, what kind of "practice, practice, practice" is required to become a true disciple of Jesus?
The FAMILY of Faith: The role of community
May 15, 2022
It is said that the opposite of courage is not cowardice, but conformity. Whether you're part of a friendship group, a family, a workplace, or ethnic community, it can feel like you've got to "fit in" to be "in". And too often, the church has behaved in much the same way. If you don't believe exactly what everyone else believes, you've gotta buy into the group think, or go somewhere else. And so we have thousands of denominations, churches organized around ethnicity, and churches adhere to strict behavioural codes, and every one of them believes they’re the ones who’ve got it right. But is this kind of cult-like conformity what Jesus meant when he prayed for unity among His followers? What if Jesus is inviting us to work for the kind of unity that rejects sameness and embraces the beauty of our diversity? Do we have the courage to do what is required to embrace God’s vision for our community?
The FRAMEWORK of Faith: How to read the Bible
May 8, 2022
Every car has a user manual and every dish has a recipe. Every subject has a textbook, every building has a blueprint, and every IKEA bookshelf has assembly instructions that are undeniably impossible to follow. And every religion too has its own manual or religious text - the Qu'ran, the Bible, the Torah, the Four Vedas, the Gita, etc. But we are not cars or bookshelves. Our lives are impossibly complicated in ways that no book can ever comprehensively address. So how should we view the Bible, and what authority should it have over our lives? What do we do when, in our modern lives and times, there are no chapters or verses to follow? Most importantly, what does the Bible tells us about what the Bible tells us?
The FOCUS of Faith: What following Jesus really means
May 1, 2022
We live in a world increasingly defined by camps: the political party we support, the team we cheer for, the brands we're loyal to, whether you're wealthy or working-class, outdoorsy or a homebody, and the list goes on and on. Whichever camp you’re in, the one thing that's clear is that there is, in fact, a camp with clearly defined borders. And this same kind of thinking has crept into the world of faith as well. We talk about "crossing the line of faith", as if being a Christian is something either you are, or you aren't. But what if these distinction of who’s in and who’s out are the last thing Jesus actually cares about? What if, from God’s perspective, it’s even possible to “be a Christian” without ever actually following Jesus? How do we make sure our faith is focused on what it really mean to follow Jesus?